The association between low vitamin D levels and suicide attempts in adolescents

BACKGROUND: Psychiatric disorders are the most common cause of suicide attempts. Some studies have shown there is a relationship between low vitamin D levels and psychiatric disorders. In this study, we examined the relationship between suicidal behavior and vitamin D levels in adolescents.

METHOD: This study included 215 patients who presented to the pediatric emergency department due to a suicide attempt (patient group) and 200 healthy individuals (control group). Demographic and clinical features of both groups were recorded, and serum vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus levels were measured. The groups were compared in terms of these factors. All data were analyzed using the SPSS 20.0 (SPSS Inc., Illinois, USA) software program.

RESULTS: The mean vitamin D level was 19.4 ± 10 ng/mL in the control group and 12.3 ± 6 ng/mL in the patient group (t = 8.8 and P = .01). The mean serum total calcium level was 9.9 ± 0.3 mg/dL in the control group and 9.4 ± 0.5 mg/dL in the patient group (P < .01).

CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D deficiency, which is a treatable condition, may be one of the causes of suicidal behavior in adolescents. Therefore, we believe that physicians who treat adolescents should consider vitamin D levels in routine examinations.

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